Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Our Trip in Kauai

I think any airport in Hawaii is most likely one of the saddest airports, ever. I mean, who wants to leave Hawaii? I sure didn't.

We spent seven magnificent, relaxing yet also active days on the island of Kauai with our friends. This is my second time to this island in particular. I just love it there and it's by far my favorite Hawaiian island. It has the most dramatic landscape, with the turquoise ocean filled with sea turtles, lush acres of greenery, and tall mountains. We stayed in Kapaa for a few days which is on the east side of the island, then rounded the trip out in Poipu, on the southern end of the island.

Here were my personal favorite experiences on the island! I hope a little rest, relaxation, and recharge is in every one's near future.

View from our Lanai (balcony) in Poipu

Eats: Overall, all the 'nicer' restaurants (especially those at the resorts) are fairly overpriced, in my opinion. I realize living in San Francisco also makes me automatically spoiled when it comes to food. While it was fun to go to a few nicer dinners, the more casual, street joints were just as delicious, in my opinion. 
  • Da Crack in Poipu: Amazingly fresh, sustainable, and reasonably priced Mexican food. This is a to-go only spot, but well worth eating while watching the sunset. With a glass of Sauvingon Blanc perhaps. Or a margarita.

  • Aloha Aina Juice Bar in Poipu: This juice bar is located in the back of the market. They serve fresh Acai bowls and all sorts of fresh delicious smoothies. In this smoothie was almond milk, bananas, blueberries, kale, and vanilla protein powder. So refreshing!
  • Living Foods Market in Poipu: A really expensive, but fun to explore market in Poipu, which carries lots of speciality items; it's sort of like a tiny Whole Foods. The best part is their breakfast menu, which features delicious gluten-free crepes, among other yummy, organic dishes.
  • Al Pastor Taco Truck in Kapaa: We stumbled upon this little taco truck after an early afternoon of surfing. I had the garlic shrimp tacos which were so good! Again, affordable, fresh, and delicious.
To Do: Where do I even start? There is so much to do in Kauai, but on our trip, we stuck to hiking, surfing, boogie-boarding, and exploring different beaches. 
  • Hanakapiai Falls Hike on Napali Coast: Let me preface by saying I am so glad we did this hike. However, this hike is no joke. It's four tedious, steep, rocky miles to get to the famous waterfall with pools of mountain spring water in which you can swim in. We may or may not have passed a man who had fallen and was bleeding from the mouth. Lets just say, I felt lucky to trek the 8 miles round trip and still have all my limbs, though covered in mud. The views were incredible. Almost fake-looking; so beautiful. 

Champagne sunset tradition at the St. Regis in Princeville, which is on the northern part of the island 

Sunset from the St. Regis in Princeville
  • Brennecke's Boogie Boarding Beach in Poipu: Or as our friend we were traveling with called it, "shredding." The best part about this beach is that it is pretty small, but everyone is boogie boarding on it. The waves are perfect (pretty big this time of year!) for boogie boarding, and occasionally a sea turtle will just nudge up against you. So cool!

Random Tips: 
  • Rent a car: it's worth it. The island is totally driveable, not to mention, oozing with lush, gorgeous scenery to make any road trip totally pleasant. 
  • Enjoy the food trucks: there are tons of taco trucks, but also, fun little juice and smoothie stands. 
  • Buy a rash guard: if you are a "serious shredder" aka me (totally joking), it will help to ensure that you don't flash everyone on the beach as you ride that wave in.
  • Rent a VRBO or Air BNB:  all the beaches in Kauai are public, so you have access to any and all of them, essentially. It's fairly easy to find a rental that is very close to the beach and that also has a pool. We split it between 4 people, making it very affordable. Meals can get really expensive if you're eating out at every one, so I highly recommend having a little kitchen for easy breakfasts and packing lunches. We stayed at the most amazing apartment in Poipu Shores, which overlooked the ocean and also had a pool. Non-stop turtle watching, 24/7. 
Our VRBO's pool in Poipu

Mr. Turtle saying hello; as seen from our Lanai in Poipu

Mahalo, Kauai. 

Back to reality. I start my RD schooling next week! As I arrived back to foggy San Francisco on the red eye this morning, I promised myself to keep a little bit of the loveliness that was Kauai with me.

See you later this week with WIAW.

1 comment

  1. Sounds amazing! I've only been to Kauai once and we stayed in Poipu at the Grand Hyatt (rewards trip for work so thankfully it was on them!). We drove up to Princeville too and I loved it up north. Did you see Jurassic Falls? When we travel we always go VRBO or AirBnb too.. such a better option. Glad you had such an amazing trip!